Suzuki Motor Corp. will again suspend operations at its Japanese facilities through March 27, 2011, after briefly resuming production following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011. The company said that it will suspend output at its three Japanese assembly plants, including the regularly scheduled weekend downtime.
The company, which exports a small portion of its vehicles to the United States, had resumed production for only half-days on March 22 and March 23, 2011. The shutdown affects such U.S.-bound vehicles as the Grand Vitara crossover, Kizashi sedan and SX4 small car. In 2010, such models accounted for U.S. sales of 22,222 units.
The company said that while it doesn’t have enough parts to continue full vehicle assembly, it will still make engines at its Sagara plant with parts that remain in stock.
Parts shortages have mainly forced the suspensions, as suppliers struggle to assess damage and reopen shops after earthquake. Few Japanese automakers will be building cars on March 24, 2011. Mazda Motor Corp. says it will still assemble cars at its two plants with parts and components still in stock.
Nissan Motor Co. plans to restart long-suspended production at its five assembly plants in Japan. Honda, Toyota and Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries will all be closed. Mitsubishi has revealed that it plans to open its Pajero truck plant, which makes the Delica D:5 van, Pajero SUV van and Challenger SUV.
However, its two car factories will remain closed. The extended shutdowns continue to reduce the output of some of the Japanese auto industry's main exports to the United States, including the Toyota Prius, Corolla and RAV4, as well as the Honda CR-V and Fit. Affected vehicles also include Acura, Lexus and Infiniti models.